Alachua Wedding from Julie Cate Photography
December 12, 2012
DIY InspiredPark

Magical and humbling. Two words that perfectly capture the mystery of weddings and they're just how this Bride described her ceremony location in beautiful Cellon Oak Park. Magical in every way from the breathtaking bouquets from FiftyFlowers to all of the vintage touches (including hand-sewn bridesmaids' dresses!) from this DIY-savvy bride. And humbling in that, under Florida's most magnificent and largest oak tree, two sweethearts were wed surrounded by love and support from family and friends who all pitched in to make this wedding the prettiest of pretties. And you can see so much more from Julie Cate Photography in the gallery right here.

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From the Bride... After Scott proposed, I began looking through wedding blogs for inspiration. All I knew immediately is that I didn't want a typical, run of the mill wedding. I didn't want anything formal or stuffy, and I wanted everyone to have a good time. I fell in love with the idea of getting married under a giant live oak tree after seeing a picture online. One of the things I love most about Florida is seeing all the gorgeous trees we have here, draped in Spanish moss. Something about standing under these huge oaks with curtains of moss feels magical and humbling. The problem is that most of them are either right beside a road or in someone's yard. After an extensive search, I finally found the perfect place: the Cellon Oak. It just happens to be the biggest live oak tree in Florida and less than 30 minutes from my house. And since it's on public land, it was also free! My vision for the rest of the decor really centered around the tree and my vintage, tea-length dress. I pictured using elements of tree bark, wild-looking plants and moss contrasted against more feminine, vintage-inspired elements such as lace and pearls. Scott actually got really involved in the decor at this point. He came up with the idea for the table centerpieces and built them — and eventually put live fish in them! I was skeptical about this, but he knows his stuff when it comes to aquariums, and thankfully they all made it home alive.

Sewing clothing is my biggest passion, so I knew from the beginning that I wanted to incorporate this somehow. I was way too afraid of making my own dress, so I consulted with my bridesmaids and received permission to make theirs. Then, when I couldn't find the fabric I needed, I decided to dye the fabric as well. I tend to go overboard like that. I liked the look of mismatched dresses that all have something in common. All of the dresses were different shades of coral designed to give a gradient effect when the girls stood together. I actually ran out of time (I was finishing up the second dress one week before my wedding!) and had to buy the last dress. I was disappointed at the time, but it was the best decision I could have made. The dresses wound up looking just like I wanted, and my girls looked lovely in them!

Our wedding was truly a labor of love, with all of our friends and family pitching in make the day special. I discovered just how creative my husband can be, and we learned how to work together effectively as a team. I spent so much time stressing about this day, but it turned out to be so much better than I'd even hoped for. Everyone was laughing and smiling and dancing through the night (even my family!). In the end, all of our hard work was worth it.

Wedding Photography: Julie Cate Photography / Ceremony: Cellon Oak Park near Lacrosse, Florida / Reception: Alachua Woman's Club in Alachua, Florida / Flowers: FiftyFlowers / Wedding Cake: A Friend / Music: A Friend / Wedding Dress: Vintage / Bridesmaids' Dresses: Two Hand-Made by the Bride + One Purchased / Men's Suits: Macy's